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Photosynthetic Performance, Chloroplast Pigments, and Mineral Content of Various Needle Age Classes of Spruce (Picea abies) with and without the new Flush: An Experimental Approach for Analysing Forest Decline Phenomena.

Trees-Struct. Funct. 3, 161-172 (1989)
DOI
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Damage in the older needles of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] in the Fichtelgebirge (NE Bavaria, FRG) appears to result primarily from nutrient imbalances rather than from direct effects of air pollutants on the mesophyll of the needles. Support for this conclusion was obtained by altering the nutrition of older needles through the removal of terminal buds on several branches from a damaged and an undamaged spruce tree in spring. Various photosynthetic parameters, as well as the chloroplast pigment and nutrient concentrations, of 1- to 3-year-old needles on manipulated branches were compared with those of branches on which the new flush was allowed to develop during the course of the growing period. Removal of terminal buds affected only the 1-year-old needles. Elimination of the new flush resulted in a higher Ca and Mn content of the needles of the undamaged tree. This treatment also resulted in an increase of the photosynthetic capacity (under saturating light and CO2 conditions), carboxylation and light use efficiency, as well as net photosynthesis under natural conditions of the 1-year-old needles on the yellow chlorotic tree. This was accompanied by higher chlorophyll concentrations and an increase in Mg, Ca, Mn, and Zn content, and no visible signs of chlorosis developed in the experiment. By contrast, the needles of twigs in which the new flush was allowed to develop exhibited reductions in mineral content in the middle of the year. This was especially true for the elements Mg and Ca, and was accompanied by needle chlorosis and a depression of the capacity of photosynthesis. Thus it appears that there is a close relationship between the development of needle damage and nutrient imbalances in spruce. The retranslocation of elements from the 1-year-old needles to the new flush seems to play a major role in the development of needle bleaching. This approach thus supports the hypothesis described above and confirms a preliminary test with a similar experimental design, which had been conducted earlier.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Forest decline; Picea abies; Mineral deficiency; Photosynthetic performance; Air pollution
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0931-1890
e-ISSN 1432-2285
Quellenangaben Volume: 3, Issue: 3, Pages: 161-172 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Springer
Publishing Place Berlin ; Heidelberg ; New York
Reviewing status Peer reviewed
Institute(s) Institute of Ecological Chemistry (IOEC)